What your ASA Board is up to

In an effort to keep you informed about what is happening with your ASA Chapter and what plans we are making notes and minutes from our monthly board or business meetings will be post here.
We invite all members to review and comment on the direction your Chapter is taking.

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  • Board Meeting Sept 1, 2015

    September 1, 2015

    ASA Houston Board Meeting

    IHOP @ Washington & I10, Houston, TX


    Meeting was called to order at 7:30pm.




    John Miller, President

    Ford Rusk, President Elect

    Karolena Serratos, Past President

    Kevin Spencer, Board Member

    Ray White, Board Member

    Cyndi Herzing, Board Member

    Chuck Stasny, Board Member

    Gloria Rodriguez, visitor

    Mario Rodriguez, Board Member

    Robert Gruener, Board Member

    Nancy Adkins, ASA Executive Secretary



    Minutes of the past Aug. 1 Planning Meeting were presented and vote for approval was deferred until later in meeting.


    Treasurer’s Report was tabled until next meeting.


    Report on upcoming meetings was given by Nancy that everything is in order for the Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. meetings.  All are sponsored and with speakers.  Only thing lacking is the hotel reservations for Richard Flint coming for the Dec. meeting.


    Review and update from Aug. 1 Planning Meeting was given:

    • Work Study Program, Chuck Stasny, committee chairman.

      Committee members: Patricia & Sherry Dolejsi, Kathryn van der Pol, Rudy Ramkissoon, Costa Kouzounis, John Miller.


    They are working on a Mission Statement. There is an appeal for ASA members to join the Advisory Board and for members to participate in the Work Study program with HCC, San Jacinto and Lone Star Junior College automotive students.  They are open to reach out to other private technical schools, ie, Ft. Bend Texas State Technical Institute. Work is in progress on developing contracts stating the requirements for a participating shop and one stating the requirements for the student.  ASA National lawyers will be consulted with the final draft.


    HCC “Lunch & Learn” meeting is Thurs., Oct. 22 with approximately 100 students in attendance.  Chuck needs help with talking points for this meeting to share the advantages of working with independent shops.  He would like a printed brochure with these advantages, Code of Ethics, show the bigger picture of vehicle repair beginning with customer to repair to finishing with customer, etc. Catering a substantial meal for this meeting was discussed. He will provide a sign-up sheet at the Sept. 8th monthly meeting for shop owners to volunteer to attend and promote working with an ASA independent shop as opposed to working with a dealership.


    All chapter members and not just committee members are invited to join Chuck on a conference call to brainstorm ideas and unify efforts. He will schedule the call and email the dial in number and code to all interested.



    • ASA Branding, Ford Rusk, chairman.Committee members: Karolena Serratos, and Maria Solis with Aracely Maya


      To bring public awareness of ASA, the committee suggests ASA Houston participate in a Car Care Clinic in the fall, Blue Santa toy drive at Christmas, and Child Advocates in Feb.


      Work on the fall event was presented. October 17, 2015, 10-2 pm is a Car Care Clinic put on by Harris County Sheriff’s Dept., AAA of Texas, and Memorial Hermann Hospital.  Steve van Winkle is asking ASA Houston to spear-head this event. 120 cars participated last year.  A parking lot on the north or northwest side of town is their desired location for the event. ASA Houston will need 15 techs to volunteer and bring a tire gauge, tread depth gauge, flashlight, rags and pen, and willing to be there 9am-3pm.


      The committee would like to provide the public with promotional ASA material and to have a large ASA Houston banner with website address for public awareness. A motion was proposed by Ford Rusk to budget $500 for this event, Kevin Spencer seconded it and it was approved.


      Karolena will have a sign-up sheet for this event at our Sept. 8th monthly meeting.


      It was reported that Karolena wrote a statement about ASA Houston and sent it to Angie’s List.  If it is approved it will be published in their magazine, otherwise, it will be posted on their website, another effort to brand ASA Houston.


    • By Laws, Ford Rusk chairman.

      Work is in progress with nothing to report just yet.


    • Website, John Miller.

      John reported Kukui now has the new employment page on the website. A test application was submitted and Nancy received it. These applications will then be sent to ASA members according to the zip code.  John will make sure the Board Minutes and the Work Study information are posted on the website.  He will demonstrate how to access the website and show its contents at the next monthly meeting.


    • Work Force, Maria Solis and Aracely

      Maria wasn’t present and John Miller reported her efforts in working with Johanna Vargas of Workforce Solutions.  ASA Houston has been invited to host a booth at their job fairs.  In addition, Workforce Solutions is developing a new internship program that will pay at least $8.00/hr to interns who are in school and wanting to work for a company who will train them.  ASA could utilize this for our Work Study program with HCC and San Jacinto.


    Ford Rusk made a motion to approve the minutes from the Aug. 1 Planning Meeting. Minutes were approved.


    Nancy shared that we had 17 members delinquent in dues and 10 suspended. Currently there are 4 delinquent and 7 suspended.  The suspended will be removed from the ASA website. She presented a new Associate Member application, Lone Star Loss Control, Earl Fallen for membership approval.  It was voted on and approved.

    Meeting was adjourned at 9:05pm.


    Submitted by Nancy Adkins in the absence of Maria Solis.

  • Board Planning Meeting Aug 1, 2015

    Actions and Recommendations from ASA Houston August 1, 2015 Planning Session

    Norris Conference Centers, 9990 Richmond Ave, Ste. 102, Houston, TX  77042


    Work Study Program

    It was decided that Chuck Stasny would chair the committee to implement the work study program with Houston Community College. Kathryn van der Pol and John Miller were appointed as committee members. Other regular members will be invited to help as committee members.

    Chuck will speak with the director of the program at HCC and arrange our first “Lunch and Learn” meeting with the students in late September. This will be an opportunity to meet the students, explain our program and recruit students to member shops.

    The committee will draw up an outline of the minimum requirement for an ASA member shop to participate, including a best estimate of possible costs to the shop.

    The committee will attain a copy of an existing contract between the student and the employer and submit it to our attorney for review. This will include the length of time the student must work for the employer after graduation in order to earn the tools purchased on his behalf.

    The committee will seek the assistance of the National Association to produce a brochure handout that outlines the benefits of working in an independent shop vs dealership or franchise jobs. It will also briefly explain the program and what is expected of a student in it.

    The Houston Chapter will hold one meeting focused on introduction and orientation for the program and members who attend that meeting will be allowed to participate in the work study project.

    This program will be launched at San Jacinto Jr. College during the 2016 Spring semester.  Lone Star Jr. College will be approached as well at a later date.


    Recruiting Technicians

    ASA will work with KUKUI to place an employment application page on the website. John Miller will be the point of contact for this. John will research Facebook ads and other means to promote this page to people looking for work in our industry.

    Maria Solis will provide the Chapter information about working with TWC to find applicants. She is also going to determine if ASA can participate in the job fair this month at George Brown Convention Center. Maria suggested using a free website, www.indeed.com for resumes.


    John Miller will continue to post want ads to our Facebook page and it is up to the members to share these postings so they can reach as many people as possible.

    Kathryn suggested using a group on Facebook called “Automotive Technicians” which has 12,000 members. Jay mentioned placing an ad on Facebook for ASA which would appear in an “about me” section of those who selected “Automotive Technicians”.  John Miller will get with Kukui to gather more info about this ad.



    Chapter Manual

    It is important that we have a Chapter Manual that will include all of the information necessary to operate the chapter. Ford Rusk, as the President-Elect will chair this committee. The manual will include our By Laws, meeting procedures, job descriptions, banking information, vendor contacts and other information determined necessary. The By Laws need to be reviewed and updated. Ford Rusk will work on this assisted by Karolena and bring back to the board proposed changes to the By Laws.



    At this time the Chapter will not undertake any major training planning. The new State Director has said that the State will be focusing on technical training and we will encourage our members to support this. There will be a major training and equipment show in Houston in 2016 put on by the State organization and the Houston Chapter will be asked to help.

    It was also pointed out that there is a lot of training available to us through vendors and online. Mario will continue keeping us informed of our vendor training and posting it in Shop Talk. Kathryn agreed to come up with a list of what she can find available in online training and prepare to lead a monthly meeting early 2016. She will include benefits from learning about mistakes when ordering parts online.

    It was suggested that we promote VISION in March and get a contingent of Houston members to go as a group to both train and learn from the Midwest Chapter what we can about doing such an event in Houston.


    Benefits for Members

    Karolena Serratos and Maria Solis agreed to chair a committee to come up with a brochure outlining Houston ASA benefits to members and to highlight those benefits that return investment for the members.


    Increase Membership

    We agreed that holding a couple of remote meetings (Satellite meetings) a year would help to attract members from outlying areas. We will hold one such meeting at San Jacinto College (which is already agreed upon by San Jac) and the focus of it will be the Work Study program. We will also hold one at Houston Community College and possibly one at Lone Star College.


    Karolena, Ford and Maria will team to develop ideas to promote greater ASA public awareness and share their ideas at the next Board meeting.

    Paying a bounty for recruitment was discussed. The Chapter is willing to use the first year’s local dues ($100) as a bounty for new member recruiting. The possibility of dividing this into 2 payments over a 2 yr. span to insure continued membership was entertained. It was suggested that we approach the associates and other vendors who visit our shops and make them aware that they can earn the bounty for referring qualified potential members. However, it will be important to clear this with the associate’s management before presenting this offer.

    Charity projects were suggested which will be low in expense.  Our Blue Santa program was decided to be continued as our on-going Christmas project and possibly expand it to include each shop and their customer base. This is also another way for ASA awareness to get out into the community.


    Shop Talk

    It was decided that as our electronic version of Shop Talk is only opened by 24% of the people on the email list, therefore, a printed version is still necessary. The hard copy is easily shared with the members’ staff. John shared that he can add more color to the online version and post it on the website. We will continue sending Shop Talk both ways.


    Respectfully submitted by Maria Solis, Secretary and John Miller, President



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